Tuesday, December 7, 2010

High Remarks for Gordon Education Program

The Education Department hosted Anthony Pedriana, author of Leaving Johnny Behind, this semester, attracting 150 guests, area teachers and education students. As a retired elementary school principal with over 30 years working with children in Milwaukee’s central city, Pedriana’s frustration at the lack of reading progress by students from poor backgrounds prompted him to look beyond the conventional wisdom of reading methodology. Gordon’s education program at both the undergraduate and graduate levels prepares its students to implement cutting-edge research when teaching children to read. “Pedriana spoke of how early literacy is one of the most powerful predictors of school success, gainful employment and societal adjustment,” said Priscilla Nelson, assistant professor of education. “It’s an important topic to discuss, and we were so pleased to open the event to the public in addition to our students.”
Following Pedriana’s visit to campus, the influential author sent a letter to area newspapers about his impressions of Gordon’s program. We share an excerpt here:
“As part of my ongoing search for answers to the reading problem, I recently met with students and faculty at Gordon and reviewed its licensure program and course syllabi. What I found was an institution united and resolute in rejecting the tide of conventional wisdom and replacing it with practices most highly correlated with actual reading ability. If we are to make long-term improvements to our schools, we need to begin with programs such as that offered at Gordon College. It is a jewel that should be replicated throughout the country.”

To listen to a podcast from Pedriana’s September visit to Gordon College, click here.

Photo (left to right): Susan Wood, Janis Flint-Ferguson, Tony Pedriana, Janet Arndt, Priscilla Nelson, Joyce Meeuwsen

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